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Prospect Heights inventor designs shiny, light-up bike helmet for cycling safety

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BY NATALIE O’NEILL

This Brooklyn inventor has a bright idea that could make the streets safer for cyclists.

Prospect Heights entrepreneur Marvin Tyson says he has come up with an illuminated bike helmet that will make two-wheelers more visible to motorists while simultaneously protecting valuable brain cells thanks to its two blinking solar-powered lights.

“It will save lives,” Tyson said. “I’ve seen a lot of accidents on my block; this can help.”

His patented creation — aptly titled “Bicycle Safety Helmet” — features rectangular lights on the front and back that are powered by a small battery that recharges using energy from the sun.

The energy-efficient lights blink when pushed twice, offering bright beacons that alert night drivers and pedestrians that a cyclist is near.

Tyson, who bikes occasionally, said he came up with the idea after witnessing a crash near his home on Vanderbilt and Atlantic avenues, in which a bus driver collided with a cyclist two years ago.

The collision inspired him to help make streets safer — so he spent a year and a half with partner Mary Sanders perfecting a prototype that includes an interior padded with memory foam

He’s not the first Brooklyn inventor to tap into the illuminated bike safety market. A Red Hook designer recently created RydeSafe, a stick-on armor that turns bikes into glow-in-the-dark rides at night.

Tyson’s invention — which also features reflective chin straps — might be the perfect accessory to that. He said he hopes the helmets will retail for between $70 and $80 by Christmas and he wants to market them to kids and serious bike commuters alike.

“It not a fly-by-night idea,” he said. “It works!”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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Reader Feedback

Dave from Park Slope says:
Hmm. Sounds just like the Lazer Urbanize helmet: http://www.lazersport.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage_images.tpl&product_id=225&category_id=31&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=132&lang=en
Aug. 21, 2012, 9:02 am
Benedict Cummerbund from Dykanus Gardens says:
Too much of a target for brick throwers.
Aug. 21, 2012, 1:06 pm
Todd Edelman from Outside of NYC says:
Nice for people who wear them... unless they don't wear their helmet. But how about people who do not have them but are still legally illuminated with required lights and reflectors? Why should they suffer for the narcissism of the people that use something like this?

http://greenideafactory.blogspot.de/2010/09/dont-believe-hyper-illumination.html
Aug. 21, 2012, 1:58 pm
Rufus Leaking from New Amersvort says:
Who is going to read the instructions to the bike riders?

They aren't the smartest people out there.
Aug. 21, 2012, 4:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Now comes the question on how many adult cyclists will actually wear them, because I have a feeling that many will be against it. Their idea is that they must ride as if they are not part of the system or they are seen as sellouts. Besides, websites such as Streetsblog have a history of actually going against bicycle safety while Mark Gorton, who is known for his illegal downloads with Limewire, will probably concoct his own stats to say why it's wrong to wear a helmet. I guess to some, if they had a choice to go with either messed up hair or a cracked skull, they will probably go with the latter over the former despite the fact that they can always comb their hair after riding a bicycle, and it's easy to fit into their pockets.
Aug. 21, 2012, 5:51 pm
T from PNY says:
Yes. Bicycles are very easy to fit into pockets.
Aug. 22, 2012, 12:32 pm
Fred from Bedstuy says:
I feel if it will save one life then it is well worth it. Being an inventor myself, I must say that any ideas that will get drivers to recognize our children an avoid them have my full support.
Sept. 6, 2012, 4:30 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Instead of wasting taxpayer dollars on some useless helmet doodad that nobody is going to wear, just ban bikes altogether and move along.
Oct. 11, 2012, 12:28 pm

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